“A mind preoccupied by planning pays homage to the idol of control.” – Sarah Young
Ouch. Did you feel that?
It was the sting of words hitting a little too close to home.
I’m a planner and, if I’m not careful, I can fall back into this trap of obsessing over the next steps. I have to remember to breathe, to let go, and remember one of my favorite quotes from Francis Chan…”You might think you have a good plan, but you don’t have a universe!”
I come from a long line of worriers. My late grandma used to worry better than anyone I have ever met. She even had a couple of nervous breakdowns under her belt to prove it. When I was a kid and we would go over to her house to visit, she’d advise me to keep my shoes on during a summertime Arizona monsoon…just in case we would have to make a quick escape. I also remember how she would tell me to make sure I could find my clothes in the middle of the night, just in case I ever had to get up out of bed and evacuate. This fear she had stemmed from living through a couple of serious floods in Pennsylvania when she was a little girl. She knew all too well the panic you feel when catastrophe hits. Yet trying to make sense of her advise while sitting on a couch in the middle of the (more dry than wet) Arizona desert was a challenge.
During another visit, she told me her doctor had prescribed meditation because of her nerves. She was to meditate 10 minutes a day…doctor’s orders. She chose a chair in her bedroom and started to meditate. Even at my young age, I thought it was strange that she grabbed the egg timer from the kitchen, placed it on the table next to her, and set it for ten minutes. tick,tick,tick,tick,tick,tick,tick,tick….BING! Nothing says rest like listening to the constant tick of a clock. 😉
“A mind preoccupied by planning pays homage to the idol of control.”
Even though I have been predisposed to the worry gene, I refuse to buy an egg timer. That’s not to say I don’t some times make the mistake of picking up “egg timers” and allowing them to temporarily dictate my life…but my goal is to not let them take up permanent residence in my life and in my heart.
As I’ve mentioned many times on this writing journey, my desire in life is to live expectantly without expectations. Living expectantly reminds me that it is possible to have hope and joy without trying to control every detail waiting around the corner. By not having fixed and set expectations on how something is going to play out constantly reminds me that…
no, I don’t have a universe.
no, I can’t control outcomes.
And if I don’t have a universe and I can’t control what’s around the corner then why do I want to even try? What good can possibly come of it?
I spent nearly a decade as an adult trying to stay in the driver’s seat of my own life. That “fun” road trip taught me that I have poor navigational skills. I took countless wrong turns and eventually felt trapped in an endless maze of bad decisions. Things that I thought would bring me happiness and joy ended up leaving me feeling empty and restless.
Today, I don’t want to live that way. It’s exhausting and sometimes causes pain that could have been avoided had I just not tried to play tug of war with my Creator and my Perfecter.